This International Women’s Day we’re highlighting the incredible 82-year-old Gina Harris, the oldest woman preparing to cycle the length of Britain for charity.

Harris, from Birmingham, plans to ride from Land’s End, in Cornwall, to John O’Groats, in Scotland, in support of charities Women’s Aid and Refuge.

The 82-year-old Breaking Records for Domestic Abuse Charities
Photo: Gina Harris

The trip is no mean feat, but Gina has set her bar and peddles high to support two charities that she is passionate about after reading about all the work they have done over the years for women experiencing domestic abuse.

In honour of this year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘Break the Bias,’ we acknowledge that bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. So Gina is taking action for women all over the world to showcase the importance of women’s physical wellbeing.

Gina shared: “I will be riding my old steel touring bike and carrying my luggage, which has a combined weight of more than 30kg, so a lot of hard work and practice begins now. I won’t be completing the challenge until June 2022, so I have enough time to get practicing with the help of my son and Cycling UK. I have previously travelled extensively by bicycle around Europe and across America, so it will not be the first long cycle journey I have ever made, but it will certainly be my last BIG one.”

Harris, a former photographer, took up cycling when she was aged 50 and joined the group Cycling UK to follow her passion with even more dedication. Alan Head, formerly Secretary of Redditch & Bromsgrove Member Group, Cycling UK commented: “Gina Harris has cycled with Cycling UK for many years, and we wish her all the best in her attempt to raise money for Women’s Aid and Refuge by cycling the length of Britain. There are constant stories of shocking abuse and cruelty to women and their children and because public services are insufficiently funded to help people in this predicament, the work of charities is vitally important.”

Louise Firth, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Refuge said: “People taking on incredible challenges makes such a difference to our work at Refuge, enabling us to reach and support more women and children impacted by domestic abuse. We are thrilled to hear about Gina’s impressive upcoming journey cycling the length of the UK from the southwest to the very northeast, we’ll be wishing her the best every step of the way!”

The 82-year-old Breaking Records for Domestic Abuse Charities
Photo: Gina Harris

Faye Connelly, Fundraising Manager at Women’s Aid, said: “We are so grateful to Gina for her incredible support for Women’s Aid, and we want to say a huge thank you to her for taking on this extraordinary challenge for the charity. Gina’s determination to raise as much as she can helps us reach even more survivors of domestic abuse, in need of our vital support.”

Visit Women’s Aid and Refuge for more information.

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Uzma Gulbahar holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University College of London. She is particularly interested in exploring untold stories surrounding marginalised groups, identity and culture.

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